Childhood Obesity

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Prevent Childhood Obesity: Shifts in Society

The ratio of a person's weight to height is known as body mass index, or BMI. Children with a BMI at or higher than the 95th percentile (for their age) are considered obese. Children with a BMI at or higher than the 85th percentile are considered overweight. Today, almost 20 percent of kids ages 6 to 19 are overweight.

What are the causes of childhood obesity? Experts blame shifts in our society. (Watch Aaron’s Story.) What used to be considered overweight we now see as average. We eat more and more often on the run. We drive more and walk less, and our kids are learning by example (Watch Alejandra’s and Akeila’s stories). There’s still plenty of time to change our habits and reverse these trends while we work to prevent childhood obesity.

But what is childhood obesity, really? According to Ginny Ehrlich, executive director of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, as interviewed in the video above: “Childhood obesity, in a nutshell is an imbalance of calories in , calories out.”

Watch the video above to learn facts and statistics that will prepare you to take action to prevent childhood obesity. For instance, did you know that the average number of hours that American kids spend in front of a computer or a TV per day is now six hours? Or that according to medical doctors interviewed in the video, orthopedic surgeons are routinely performing hip and knee replacements on young people due to the excessive weight they are carrying, and that many pediatricians are seeing children with Type 2 Diabetes?

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